In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?



Autumn Picnic

The Vine Bearer

With such beautiful, fleeting weather, Ben and I decided to spend a day out in it. The air was cool, but the sunshine was lovely. We brought a loaded picnic basket, books and embroidery in my back-pack, and planned to make wreaths from the vines in the grove. They look like wild grape vines, but they don't grow grapes.

This was the first one I made
And then it was time to eat:
cold chicken
refrigerator pickles
apples and dip
apple-butter sandwiches
pumpkin bread
and a little tea, lemonade, & water

I wanted it to be special for autumn.
. . . he likes chicken :)

Do you notice what I didn't? windfall. . . the real picnic experience

Atop the round bales near the pond:
Enjoying Susan Branch

And another, thicker one. Can you see the curly tendrils?

~sage and yarrow~

'"Hear you've lost your glasses, guv'nor."
"That is so."
"Nuisance, what?"
"Ought to have a spare pair."
"I have broken the spare pair."
"Tough luck! And lost the other?"
"And as you say, lost the other."
"Have you looked for the bally things?"
"I have."
"Must be somewhere, I mean."
"Quite possibly."
"Where," asked Freddie, warming to his work, "did you see them last?"
"Go away!" said Lord Emsworth, on whom his child's conversation had begun to have an oppressive effect.
"Go away!"
"Go away?"
"Yes, go away!"
"Right ho!"'
--Leave it to Psmith, by P. G. Wodehouse
"The p, I should add for your guidance, is silent, as in phthisis, psychic, and ptarmigan."--Psmith


A Milne-ism, if you follow me. Simply to say a very Happy Birthday with love from me to Mama. I thank God that you were born, and that I was born to you! Many happy returns of the day, to the one who taught us all to love and quote Winnie-the-Pooh.

"Now Roo, remember what I told you yesterday about making faces? . . . . "

Sunday Evening~

I know I've posted on pizza before, but it is an important ritual at my house. . . especially on Sunday nights. I love the process as much as the outcome--especially when there are veggies involved. My favorite is zucchini, with onion and fennel, but green peppers are nearly as good, and that's what our garden produced. We all love to eat it, and it has special associations with football, which is another big thing around here. We were extremely gratified that the Vikings beat the Lions this afternoon, 24 to 10, and Adrian Peterson came off with a splendid 80-yard touchdown.

with my faithful Ben as photographer

Oh, the sunshine was so welcome after all that rain!

And the blue sky made me so happy. . .

The river valley is flooded, but the autumn colors are gorgeous.

"A purple sky to close the day
I wade the surf where dolphins play
The taste of salt, the dance of waves
And my soul wells up with hallelujahs

A lightning flash, my pounding heart
A breaching whale, a shooting star
Give testimony that you are
And my soul wells up with hallelujahs

Oh praise Him all His mighty works
There is no language where you can't be heard
Your song goes out to all the Earth
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

O cratered moon and sparrow's wings
O thunder's boom and Saturn's rings
Unveil our Father as you sing
And my soul wells up with hallelujahs

Oh praise Him all His mighty works
There is no language where you can't be heard
Your song goes out to all the Earth
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

The pulse of life within my wrist
A fallen snow, a rising mist
There is no higher praise than this
And my soul wells up
O my soul wells up
Yes my soul wells up with hallelujahs

Oh praise Him all His mighty works
There is no language where you can't be heard
Your song goes out to all the Earth
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!"

~Chris Rice

One Thursday

[This was supposed to be posted on Thursday, but the pictures wouldn't upload and it got too late, so the words are from yesterday.]
"Old Father Time checked so there'd be no doubt
Called down the north wind to come on out
Then cupped his hands so proudly to shout
La-di-dah, la-di-dah, 'tis autumn"

It seems we are having what Mona refers to as the 'equinoctial storm' in Then There Were Five, "It's bound to last three days at least. . . it comes at the times of year when days and nights are the same length. Now in September, and then again in March." At least this one has lasted two days and a night: steady rain with only momentary let-ups, and entire hours of pounding sheets causing the front yard to turn into a lake. The yard and deck are strewn with green and yellow leaves, torn from their moorings too early.
~The out-of-doors have just lit up with an almost unearthly light. It is hard to believe it is only
the sun shafting through an overcast sky, turning it all grey-green.~
The rain patters and streams and dribbles and pools out in the recesses of the woods and back again. Its sound reaches farther than my hearing goes and plays in forgotten corners of nature.
I love to stand with my nose to the eye of wind like this, like a weather-vane, and feel it flow through me. Deep into my lungs and veins and mind. I'm sitting in front of a screened door instead, so I don't get soaked, but the wind reaches in and flutters my skirt and hair and refreshes my spirit. How good God is to us!
The Autumnal Equinox happily arrived at midnight last, making this day officially the first day of autumn, my favorite season of the year, all golden and russet. It has been a lamp-lit, celebratory day, with the cry of killdeers at odd hours, and the rhapsodic aroma of the first molasses cookies "of the year", which is a long time tradition here. Mrs. Miniver thinks of autumn as the beginning of the year, as Mother quoted here. And in many ways I do too.
We enjoyed "The Great Pumpkin Waltz" by Vince Guaraldi, and some other classical beauties. We did some math, and read about Charlamagne, and baked some bread.
Here are some pictures from our day. . . a great many actually . . . . May your autumn be strewn with merry leaves and laughter.
sourdough pancakes and early lamplight

the view from my window with my twinkle lights reflected.

::~ morning project: a new tissue paper star.

vegetable-beef-soup and iced tea

<--the lake that is our yard. . .

And this is me, with my tea, and the pumpkin colored earrings that helped make it all feel fallish and delightful.

Molasses Cookies!

And they were quite good, let me tell you.
Below is our jar of refrigerator dill pickles from garden cucumbers. Delicious.

Beauty abounds
And in the ever ripened field
Furrows shift and leaves blow
The sun at last resets its shield
Allowing cold to flow

As frost returns
The higher places hold their warmth
And let the hollows chill
‘Til even the highest ground at length
Can’t stay the winter’s will

True cold
We remember what cold is now
And lay the log to burn
While snow like frosting coats the bough
And ice makes slick the turn

A change
At long last we see the mud
The snow has turned to rain
First flowers and the leaf’s small bud
A frost free grassy plain

Now heat
And sweat comes with today
Of planting veggies good
And over summer fruits we pray
As in the sun we stood

Once more
And as we lay aside our hoe
We choose a scythe again
For now it’s time for the corn to go
For Autumn to begin

~myself 2008~
Milne on Wind in the Willows

"One can argue over the merit of most books, and in arguing understand the point of view of one's opponent. One may even come to the conclusion that possibly he is right after all. One does not argue about The Wind in the Willows. The young man gives it to the girl with whom he is in love, and if she does not like it, asks her to return his letters. The older man tries it on his nephew, and alters his will accordingly. The book is a test of character. We can't criticize it, because it is criticizing us."

Moley and Ratty. These I made from sculpey to adorn my room.

and their home. . .

That is the stance my family takes on Kenneth Grahame's magnum opus. We practically live and breathe Wind in the Willows. The characters are our oldest friends, and any member of our household may be heard quoting him at any point without reference or explanation needed. We see A. A. Milne nearly the same, and he kindly agrees with us on this subject. The selection was taken from his introduction to The Wind in the Willows, and I hope you like it.

Indian Summer

Autumnal Sunshine ColorsBy Olivia age 12, 2006
.Autumnal sunshine colors
Are the prettiest of all
The golden rays of sunshine
And the maple leaves that fall
Autumnal sunshine colors
The darkest, they are the best
The deepest red of apples
And the golden leaves at rest
Autumnal sunshine colors
Are the happiest it seems
And yet they are the saddest
Oh, the gold and silver streams
Autumnal sunshine colors
Some are warm and some are chill
The branches shed their beauty
Yet their beauty is there still
Autumnal sunshine colors
Are bountiful at harvest
The squash and oh, the pumpkin
And peppers--you're fully blessed
Autumnal sunshine colors
You can see them in a bird
See a gorgeous red or brown
Flash, they're gone without a word
Autumnal sunshine colors
Shine through Black Eyed Susans fair
And though it may be sunny
You feel crispness in the air
Autumnal sunshine colors
You can taste with every bite
Into a crimson apple
Or a piece of pumpkin bright
Autumnal sunshine colors
Are in each seed which does float
To the earth that softly waits
With a golden autumn note
Autumnal sunshine colors
They appear from left and right
Like a many featured gem
Like a ruby in sunlight
Autumnal sunshine colors
They are waiting ever near
Waiting for you to seek them
So search, whether there or here.


I figure, since it was 37 degrees this morning, that an indoor post is in order:
~the ever-busy chalkboard
"Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair. . ."

The family consensus~

As they are busy making ketchup, we are busy cleaning, dusting and rearranging the basement. It is remarkable how many cobwebs can creep up unawares, and we were occupied with banishing them from our cozy premises. An old movie, 'Meet Me in St. Louis' being a favorite, is a perfect thing to accompany housework. Music, singing, and dancing float throughout the house as we bustle about, and no one misses the fun because we have all watched it a hundred times. Their kitchen is delightful, of course, and the dresses; and we all have fun singing lustily along with Judy Garland and the rest.
clean windows. . .. . . and twinkly lights
AND. . .

~fresh rolled oats

~dry ingredients
~melted butter
No kidding. That apple was a foot around, straight off the tree. . . living evidence!
~washing them
~ah, the delights of autumn!
~Ben, helping with the apple preparation

~caramel syrup
~ready to bake
And so of course the boys must have tea.
(the substantial kind, not the drink :)

. . . so I took it out to them in the chilly air, still hot--lovely day.

And Ben kept busy nearby while I was baking--imaginative industry:

Invisible ink--kerosene lamps are very convenient!

~ And we had a cozy day! Grace and peace to you.